San Marino Votes to End Abortion Ban

Residents of San Marino overwhelmingly voted to legalize abortion in a referendum on Sept. 26.

According to results published by San Marino TV, 41% of the about 33,000 in the tiny European state participated in the referendum, with 77.3% approved of allowing abortion in the first weeks of pregnancy.

Abortion will also be legal beyond the 12-week mark if the woman’s life is in danger or if her physical or psychological health is at risk due to fetal anomalies.

“I am very happy and satisfied that the citizens of San Marino have finally expressed the fact that women must enjoy equal dignity,” Francesca Nicolini, a doctor and member of Sammarinese Women’s Union (UDS), said in a report by British newspaper The Guardian.

UDS is the association that initiated the referendum.

“Our citizens have taken a step forward and finally brought us into the third millennium and our politicians will have to keep in mind that they need to do more, and better, in terms of the rights of all people,” Nicolini further said.

San Marino’s parliament must now take steps to legalize the procedure.

The referendum was held after several attempts to legalize the procedure had been sabotaged by mostly conservative governments for the last two decades.

Abortion has been illegal in San Marino since 1865 and the procedure carries a punishment of up to three to six years in prison.

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